School of Kinesiology (University of Michigan) Records and Publications

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School of Kinesiology (University of Michigan) Records and Publications

The materials in this online repository form part of a larger School of Kinesiology record group held by the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index to the materials, please consult the online finding aid for the:

Researchers may also be interested in the following web archives collections:

For questions or more information, please contact the Bentley Historical Library's Division of Reference and Access Services

Established in 1921 as the Department of Physical Education, the department maintained separate programs for men and women until 1970. In 1984 Physical Education became an independent unit. In 1990 the name was officially changed to School of Kinesiology. In 2008 the Division of Kinesiology was renamed the School of Kinesiology. Content in this online collection includes school bulletins, curriculum guides, and archived websites.

With the completion of the Waterman Gym and the appointment of Dr. James Fitzgerald as its director, the University of Michigan began developing a program of physical education for men in 1894. At that time 2,000 men and 500 women were enrolled at the university. Petitioned by the women and supported by President James B. Angell, who stated that women "need the privileges of a gymnasium quite as much as the men," Dr. Eliza M. Mosher, a former Michigan medical student, was appointed to oversee the growing population of women. At this time work began on a women's gymnasium. At the turn of the century, the Barbour Gymnasium was completed.

Around this same era, in 1898, physical education training became formalized, courses were designed, and the Regents passed a resolution making course work in physical education a requirement towards graduation. In the early 1900s physical education programs increased in popularity. In response, the intramural sports program was formally established in 1912. This led to a fairer allocation of equipment and facilities between males and females.

In 1921 the Regents created a Department of Physical Education and established the Division of Hygiene and Public Health, which would include oversight of men's and women's physical education. Dr. John Sundwall was named the first director of the new division. Sundwall rapidly developed the new curriculum for the training of teachers in physical education. The new division was placed within the School of Education, itself a newly established independent academic unit. Prior to July, 1921, Education had been a department in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.

Both at the University of Michigan and throughout the nation physical education continued to grow and develop as did professional sports. In fact from 1931 to 1938 a graduate program was introduced in a series of three sequences: administration, supervision, and teaching, respectively. In 1949, a new type of physical education research based on the scientific method was introduced by Dr. Paul Hunsicker, professor and chair of the department, whose specialty was movement science. This shift changed kinesiology's theoretical foundations as it marked its movement outside of the boundaries of sports, recreation, and fitness to a wider, more general study of movement.

During the 1970s, a series of changes occurred within the Department of Physical Education. Beginning in 1970, the men's and women's programs merged. In 1973 women's intercollegiate athletics was established, with Marie Hartwig as the first administrator. With the settling of the Physical Education faculty in the newly built Central Campus Recreation Building (CCRB) in 1977, and the appointment of Dee Edington as department chair, physical education continued to promote research in exercise and sports science. With Edington's appointment came $60,000 to equip a center for physical fitness and sports research.

In 1984, following a university review of several academic units, Physical Education was separated from the School of Education and became an independent degree-granting academic unit. With this dissolution, physical education continued to broaden beyond teacher certification to developing curricula in such areas as sports management and communication and movement science. In 1990, the Regents approved the name change to the Division of Kinesiology. Dee Edington remained as its director. While the traditional field of physical education continues to stress teaching certification and coaching, the movement science track prepares students for careers in such fields as athletic training, physical therapy, biomedical research and corporate wellness programs, while sports management and communications develops students' skills in facility management, sport marketing, sports journalism, and recreation program administration.

In November 2008 the Regents approved the renaming of the Division as the School of Kinesiology. Noreen Clark was named the interim Dean. Gregory Cartee was appointed to a term as interim Dean, May 1, 2009-Aprl 30, 2010. Ronald Zernicke, director of the Bone and Joint Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation Center, was named Dean of the School beginning January 1 2010.

For further information researchers are advised to consult the publication: Kinesiology: A Michigan Tradition, 1894-1994. A copy of this publication is located in the UM. School of Kinesiology publications record group

Please note:

Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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